Riverside to seek road levy again in fall

Voters in Riverside will be asked this November to approve a road levy that they rejected last fall.

Riverside City Council voted to put an 8-mill levy for roads on the ballot.

Voters saw this same levy in 2018. It was defeated by eight votes, said Katie Lewallen clerk of council for Riverside.

If passed this time, Riverside would collect an additional $1.9 million revenue annually. The city would use the new tax money for the reconstruction and repair of both residential roads and main streets.

MORE: Riverside could put 8-mill levy on ballot a second time

The new levy would cost someone who owns a $100,000 home an extra $280 in property taxes per year, according to Montgomery County Auditor Karl Keith’s office.

This levy would be permanent, meaning neither council nor voters would vote on it again.

In the council meeting to approve the measure Councilwoman Beverly Campbell said she thought the levy should be renewable instead so the city could raise the levy if the cost of repairing roads grew.

However, there would be no guarantee the levy would pass again if it were not permanent, Councilman Ken Curp and Mayor Bill Flaute said.

“The consultant’s report says the need is always going to be there, as far as revenue needed to fix the streets, so if you put a limit on the number of years then we may have to pick what streets to repair,” Curp said, referring to a study done by Pavement Management Group.

LAST YEAR: Riverside could ask for 8-mill levy to fund major road projects

The city of Riverside hired the consulting group to assess its roads in March.

The study, which cost $25,000, found that 70% of roads in Riverside are in fair or poor condition.

The city and Pavement Management Group determined the city should spend about $3.25 million a year on roads for eight years, said Kathy Bartlett, Riverside’s public service manager. After repairing the roads, the consulting group said the city would need to spend about $2.5 million a year maintaining the roads.

Bartlett said the city is currently putting around $800,000 into its roads.

“It’s our job to educate the voters on this levy,” City Manager Mark Carpenter said.

To do this, Carpenter said the city will likely host informational meetings on the levy and distribute information to residents.

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